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Invited Commentary
March 24, 2021

Microaggressions, Intersectionality, and Criminality

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, The Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey
  • 2Women in Medicine Symposium
JAMA Surg. 2021;156(5):e210266. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.0266

Microaggressions, first described in 1970,1 have been associated with long-term psychological distress, depression, and anxiety. As the field of medicine aspires to create more inclusive environments, understanding microaggressions is critical. Many studies2,3 have reported the association of microaggressions with attrition, discouragement to join specific subspecialties, and burnout outside medicine. In this study, Sudol et al4 add to this literature with a survey evaluating the prevalence of microaggressions and physician burnout in surgeons and anesthesiologists. The authors conclude that there is a high prevalence of microaggressions aimed toward physicians who identify as being female or from an underrepresented minority group, and these microaggressions are associated with higher levels of burnout.

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